As attachment to Guershon Urinsky's work, we bring next the complete text of amendments of  VML  sessions in Pruzhany. From an historical point of view they are very interesting.  The original is in Hebrew according to the book of Dubnow "Vaad Medinat Lite, Berlin, 1926". We didn't introduce improvements neither changes on Hebrew text, leaving grammatical errors as were written. We only completed a quantity of abbreviations of Hebrew initials.



Today Thursday Av 25, 1628, met important men of Israel's people to have their eyes very open about all amendments registered in the upper part of the Pinkas. We considered which should continue as were before, and which should be changed according to the time, because not all  times are the same. Anyway, all what is  registered doesn't contradict later amendments that entered this Pinkas. Therefore they will be effective, sure and not to be changed.


Considering registrations in a previous rule, the representatives decided about the issue:  "Marriage of poor young women", which should be observed this way: Every year, 30 young women should be married to the age of 15. Brest and surrounding communities should take the responsibility of  14 youths; Grodno and it's surroundings: 10; Pinsk and it's surroundings: 8. Each young woman should receive 25 guilden. Was decided that money has to gathered by the ABD (Av Bet Din -  Rabbinical Superior Justice Tribunal Chief) in his respective community, and is responsible to have that money when a young girl comes to him  and request this help of 25 guilden.

It should not be given to her until not having a certificate of Kehila's authorities in the sense that she worked as maid in the house of a local householder, since the age of 12 , that is to say the age allowed for this service, and until she was 15 . The salary for this young employee should be of 10 annual guilden. This wage should be given to the treasurer of the VML and not to her father. If this youth wants to make clothes for Saturday from her salary , she is not allowed to do it without treasurer's consent.

All young women that get the 15 year-old age, starting from today and until Chanukah 1629, are liberated of demonstrating that they worked three years, in order to receive the 25 guilden help . The help should be granted just as is registered in upper part of the Pinkas. From today VML Chiefs should proclaim the new amendment from now on, in all synagogues and surroundings of the communities.

The  VML State Chiefs should have very open their eyes and watch over that this amendment is fulfilled with all severity. When VML State Chiefs meet again they will bring written documents signed by  ABD Chiefs about the quantity of young women that got married according to this amendment, in the period that goes from a Council to the following.

Each young woman that gets the 25 guilden help, should present a writing confirming showing she is 15 year-old. Each youth that doesn't have a householder that provides her a work place, the Kehila will decide, and she will work in the proprietor's house that contributes higher amount of money for taxes to the Kehila, with the condition of providing to the young woman a room in the house where she works. If in the same Kehila there is another young woman under same conditions, the second will work for another proprietor that pays less than the first one, and also has a room for her.   

It will always be decided that young woman employment will be only given to those who pay higher taxes, and have room for the employee.


Each false gossip against the ABD of each community, is responsibility of the whole community. But if it is not true, and is a real fact that the ABD buys something stolen, or for a similar issue, and the  VML State Chiefs demonstrate clearly that the complaint was manifested by an informer and his intentions were vile, will relapse the responsibility again on the whole community. This same treatment should be effective before false gossips against one of the 7 benefactors of the community, when this has been an act of an informer's vengeance, to which has been dictated a verdict, even he continues considering that  in the trial happened wickedness against him.


If VML State Chief consider that it happened this way, even when the trial has been one year ago or more, the responsibility will relapse on the whole community. But if the informer's gossips were against the ABD or against one of the 7 benefactors of the community, and the VML State Chiefs sustain that it was for negligence and weakness of the community, which didn't maintain an energetic position to break informer's wickedness, as appears in paragraph 31 of the Pinkas, then the responsibility relapses on the seven Kehila Chiefs and on the ABD of the city. The population should have force and will, and put on firmly immediately noticing some gossip, and not allow that  the informer "lifts his head". The Kehila should proceed with strong hand and punish, to close this story.

If the Kehila doesn't take in consideration warnings of  ABD, should formulate a protest through the City Servicemen so that these they carry out a trial, as the Pinkas indicates. The force for this proposal should be presented to VML Chiefs, and Kehila Servicemen should pay due attention to other agitators, under  threatens that he will lose exercise of his positions. The same right has each individual that foresees that somebody threatens him, and the Kehila Chiefs should protect him against the informer. The City Serviceman should transmit and sign his written protest, and otherwise he will lose the exercise of his position.


Kehila's Chiefs should not authorize any person to preach openly, without the consent of the ABD and the leaders of the Kehila. They won't allow to anybody to preach openly in surrounding towns, until not having a manuscript signed by the ABD, and ABD it should not grant his signature to the preacher, without consent and approval of Kehila's leaders. The transgressor of this amendment will pay a fine of 5 red guilden to  VML State authorities.


Women who are Treasurers of a Kehila, should pay attention and offer their heart to poor women that dress thick dark linen garments, as is this cases is not observed sufficiently well drops of blood of menstrual period, and it exists the danger that the woman doesn't notice her impurity state. For this cause the Treasurers that manage Solidarity Funds, should dedicate a sum of money to make - in the poor women's benefit -  two shirts of white linen, so that they dress them in period time and can stay clean.


About lease prohibition in settlements in those which Jews don't live. The leaders of the Kehila in their meetings decided: a Jew should not accept any lease in a place where Jews don't inhabit, until consulting with the ABD nearer to the lease point. He will receive a genuine advise about the way of behaving, especially his wife, his service people, and other things that  were prohibited and might carry him to transgress, in a place not inhabited by Jews. He will have - before going to the place - to consult the ABD about the customs when he stays in the city, and only afterwards he is allowed to be in charge of the lease.

In relation to Jews that already inhabit those places, and they don't have contacts with Jews, they should go to the ABD to be informed, and to maintain a correct Jewish behavior. In case that didn't make this way, the ABD will pursue him and take him away from all sacred Jewish places and things, until he returns from the wrong way.


Women that are in charge of  trade and should frequently go to  gentile's houses, will be accompanied by her husband or another married person, and a youth. The woman that transgresses,  will be considered that has abandoned Jewish religion. In  case she needs to send one of them to solve some issue, she will send the youth, and the husband and the married person will stay with her.


Any married man, in no case, will meet to drink in a gentile's house, under the punishment of proclaiming his attitude openly.  


Every person that receives the authorization  to be member of the Kehila,  should dedicate every day a certain time to study the Torah.


In all places where are carried out fairs on Saturday, Rabbinical Tribunals should watch over and move away Jews, prohibiting them trade on Saturday, pointing them out what is allowed and what is prohibited, for not profaning Saturday. The profanation will be punished openly, for those people who does not take care Saturday rules.


Lessees in small towns and villages,  should go to the nearer ABD, to receive directives about prohibiting all work on Saturday, so that this is not an obstacle for their life.

They should also receive directives about sterilization laws of domestic animals, pig breeding , distillation of alcohol and other similar issues, in order not to make them on Saturday. The lessee will receive from the ABD a manuscript about behavior rules,  or in the contrary will pay additional 100 red guilden, besides other punishments.


In all synagogues is to be proclaimed that should not be traded impure birds, dead animals, and other forbidden things . Every Jew should not receive  food from gentile workers.  People that are in far away places should be prevented not to trade up mentioned objects.


ABD's will control clothes that people use. Material won't be " shatnez " (TN: a fabric mixture of wool  and linen, since it should not be mixed spinning of animal origin and of vegetable origin), as for example velvet caps. It should also be prevented for the future, in case of a doubt if a cloth is allowed or not, and the garment should not be produced until ABD approves it.


Those that manufacture cheese and shortening, and provide them to landowners, will not be allowed to  consume it, except if they are elaborated by a " kasher " and well-known person, not being he an unmarried youth. When that person abandons the place where cheese is elaborated, he  should close the door with a key and will put on it a seal.


The Rabbi should receive the maximum possible quantity of male youths who studies Torah, to locate them at different homes for Saturday celebration. The Rabbi is not entitled to diminish the quantity for money problems. The Kehila neither has the right to define the quantity of males that the Rabbi wants to locate during Saturday's.

The Rabbi and Kehila authorities should consider the quantity of Saturdays which needs students distribution and they have to receive the youths. If for various causes or pressure, the quantity of youth  should be diminished, it will decided by the Rabbi and Kehila's authorities.  These last one can not  define it without Rabbi's consent, and the Rabbi will request participation of town leaders, so that the quantity is increased and it is fortified the law and Torah's justice.


It should be named personnel specialized in control of measures and weights in all Kehilas.


Merchants that sell groceries, but exist a doubt if they are allowed or not, they won't sell them until having ABD permission. 


The person of Lechevitsh, already known by the Kehila of Pinsk, that had negative attitudes, should be expelled outside limits of the States of Lithuania and Russia. If he backslide again, will be condemned as criminal.

In the same way will be condemned the person of Kobrin,  known by the authorities of the town of Brest, and will be expelled he, his wife, children and son-in-law, outside the limits of Lithuania and Russia, and if they persist in rebelling, they will be pursued.


Jewish authorities listened and investigated about our enemies that are always present as the Devil and as an aching thorn. Now began to sharpen their teeth to maintain in their homes servants of gentile origin. Public is not able to change suddenly. Therefore, we decide to diminish the quantity of gentile servers. We institute a law in the territory of Jewish cities that are under our domain, a law that should not be annulled: it should not be used in a house more than a woman as maid, even if there are two, three or four owners inhabiting the house.

The person that doesn't fulfill this disposition will receive physical punishments, or  will have to  pay a fine determined by VML authorities . All this has the irrevocable threat of expulsion of the Kehila. The authorities of the Kehila should have very open their eyes, and they should watch over inhabitants of surroundings that are under their domain, so they fulfill this law. If some of the authorities of the Kehila didn't pay due attention, and didn't worry about this matter, will receive corporal punishments and a fine.

This amendment doesn't have any relationship with those that have leases and should maintain many service employees . Lessees that have many activities, are entitled to have the quantity of indispensable servants for their work, but not in excess.


Every person whose properties ascend to less than 4 (big) " groshen " should not have servants without the consent of Kehila leaders. It is even more reasonable  if he receives a grant. The authorities of the Kehila, are responsible, and they should order this amendment is fulfilled. Contrary case, each one will have to pay a fine to the VML Treasury in the amount of 10 red guiden (ducats) without any discount.



In the course of three or four weeks before " Seimic " (TN: Municipal Council) session, leaders of every Kehila in each city, will write to people who live near the place of the session, that they should watch over and control that new amendments (against the Jews) are not passed, and as much as possible, those that travel to the Central Council (delegates to Central Seimic in Warsaw), will give "them" a gift and request "them" that they maintain cordial relationships with us, during Seim sessions.


Each community that begins a trial against a gentile or against gentile authorities who are demanded because they expressed in the trial against Jews, Jewish community won't intervene in the trial without being informed before through local ABD,  and has to seek advice about the attitude to assume.   

The person that demands a bankruptcy, will proceed as this registered in the Pinkas, in the amendments of Brest Council.


Each Kehila that doesn't have the permission of building a new synagogue, or to reconstruct a wooden one for one of bricks, should not do it without due authorization of ABD.


Investigations about following issues: calumniates, libels, and dilations, will be carried out only by the ABD together with one of the seven city benefactors, chosen by the Tribunal, or by the Superior Chief, together  with one of VML leaders. In case that own ABD is judged about mentioned issues,  investigations will be done by  Kehila leader with one of the seven city benefactors. About this investigation, will be informed only two people that are not involved in the case, and they will pass the case to a trustfully ABD that solves this issue secretly.


Nobody will be able to refute or  declare inapt  the ABD, or one of the seven city benefactors, or the judge, even in case he fought during the trial, and even when the conflict has been very serious.  The plaintiff will be deprived if he had fought before the trial, and in this case, the serviceman will not call him to trial. Even when the judge would be busy with other issues, and happened later that the plaintiff fought with him,  this should not be taken in consideration, and should be avoided to refute the judge.


A person that offends the ABD, or one of seven city benefactors, or the judge, while they are exercising their function, has to be imposed a punishment to the offender immediately and before he leaves the tribunal


A Kehila where a Superior Tribunal ('Beit Din") exists, should not send any letter to near communities without signature of its ABD. If it is not signed, the letter won't be been worthy. In case that the ABD could not sign it because he is absent or any other reason makes him impossible to sign it, this should be notified in the letter. The ABD can sign the letter together with other leaders, even if they were kindred.

This issue  is valid with relation to the Kehilas of Grondo, Pinsk and its surroundings, in order they don't send any letter without the signature of its ABD. In the community of Brest it should have the signature of the ABD.   

In other communities where there are rabbis (and don't have ABD), it is enough that only members of the Kehila sign, without the signature of  ABD.


High authorities of the three main Kehilot, in case that they have to be absent of city, are entitled to designate their substitutes, among city seven benefactors , so that they represent them during their absence. If this happens before a VML meeting which will act during his absence, the State Chief should present a petition to the Kehila in which exposes the cause of his absence, and should receive the permission of the Kehila to be absent. Then, he will designate a substitute that acts in VML who should be a suitable person to meet with the old men that conform the maximum authority.


State authorities of each community, should worry in gathering money needed to pay to the State, in their Kehila and surroundings, and that money will be exclusively for that objective.  

Inhabitants of each Kehila won't speak bad concepts of the authorities neither of the serviceman.


If State authorities were forced to request a loan to cover expenses, will have the right and the force of demanding to population, to private people as to rich men of the community, that they sign loans notes together with them. Contrary case, under threaten, they will pay a fine of a hundred reds (ducats).


State authorities are entitled to call for meetings in great synagogue to consider issues related with  VML . The beadles are forced to fulfill the duties that urban leaders impose; otherwise they can lose their labor positions.


Authorities of the three Kehilas and the ABD, are entitled, if they consider it is necessary, of imposing an exclusive serviceman for State issues, and inhabitants cannot reject him. The salary of the serviceman should be paid with the money of the community, together with smaller surrounding communities.. The community of Brest will claim the payment of near and distant communities. The middleman's salary, Rabbi ZALMAN is annulled.


During Pesach festivity, in any Kehila should not be designated the ABD before designating State Chief. Will be chosen a State Chief first among previous Chiefs, and then the Kehila Chief.


Today we found the appropriate way for referees election. They will be adults, the best and most distinguished people of the community, as well as the judges. In total they should be 15 honorable people (without family relationship). In the event of not meeting those 15 people, they will be unified with city administrators (" gaboym "), in order to reach that number. And if it is not still reached, the elected will name the candidates. This norm should not be modified in none of three towns in which  there is an ABD . In surrounding towns, the quantity won't be modified, and in settlements with approximately 100 proprietors, where there is not a defined conduction, nine people will be chosen, and no more. 


The election of referees will be done this way; each one of electors will write in a paper five candidates, which will be given secretly to a trustful person. The three that received more votes will be immediately be elected. Then these three that were elected should leave aside from the election those that in their opinion are not capable to fulfill the post (especially relatives). The remaining ones are written - each name for separate - in a paper, and two papers are extracted. These two- together with the three first - will be the referees. This order will be followed in all Jewish settlements, without modifications, except those that already previously had a procedure and a specific order. In  towns in which inhabit 100 proprietors and there is not any procedure, the referees will choose nine men.


The gifts that these three communities will give to National Authorities that occasionally visit  communities during "Seim" (local councils) sessions, who are people that are in strait contact with the authorities, in the hope that they will intervene in benefit of public in general, those expenditures will be covered with funds of State Fund. The gifts given to national authorities designated by the government, will be covered with expenditures of local community and its surroundings.


No Jew will request a loan of money to a gentile or a landowner, without consent of the ABD and a superior. In towns where there is not ABD, they won't request a loan without the consent of two leaders of the community. The same rule will govern suburbs. The person who transgresses this rule, is responsibility of the community to notice to the gentile or the landowner that his money not this safe. If somebody already expensed that money and he cannot return it, it is a product of his sin. He should be expelled of the city, and don't remain in this place. If he was imprisoned, he won't be given any help to liberate him, neither a cent.


A strange, unknown man, be married or single, if his honesty is unknown, he should not commit  neither marry a woman until are not clear his characteristics, and is known that he doesn't have another woman in another country.


In all communities, no  Jew will go to the fortress or to a gentile tribunal, or where their servants, officials, or other public employees inhabit, without consent of city authorities. The authorities have the duty of watching over this order.


Orphans should not contribute for Rabbi's, Liturgical Singer or Serviceman wages. Except this, they should contribute to other urban expenditures, and only a half of normal amount for  annual budget.


(TN: Seems it rules marriages costs) A rich orphan, but whose money is not available to him, and it is not mentioned by written, the contribution (TN: in the wedding) for the Rabbi, the Liturgical Singer and the Serviceman, will be for a half of his possessions. But if among parts there is a secret agreement, the expenses of matrimonial ceremony will be paid entirety, according to real amount of his properties.


If the Kehila or an individual decided to demand  their ABD, they cannot claim anything until this issue is treated first, by the ABD, a leader of the Kehila and another person of the tribunal. They should ask them  on what consists the demand.  After the issue is treated, the defendant will have the authorization to claim before the judge. If a Kehila or an individual of one of the three important Kehilot want to accuse their ABD, they are not entitled to it, without proposing before the issue to the other two Kehilot,  regarding what the accusations are. Only after having formulated their opinions, plaintiffs are entitled to summon a rabbinical trial. 


Salary of the Rabbi,  the liturgical singer and the serviceman can be paid in an equivalent value of silver  and gold jewels that will be considered as if they were cash money  Goods as properties and books, have half of their value.


An decision taken by the Kehila, has no value, except if the issue was treated unanimously by the Kehila and it was approved this way. An decision made only by the serviceman,  is not worthy. The unanimous decision of the Kehila, can be annulled if it is not made in conformity with the seven community benefactors and was taken only with some of them.


If the Kehila which contracted an ABD wants to fire him, and did not announce it to him with 6 months of anticipation before contract finishes, he will continue in his position automatically the new period, similar to the first one. If the ABD finishes his period, the Kehila treated the issue of his continuation, and among the congregation are his kindred, these can vote and their vote should not be rejected. Their vote is worthy as much as those of the rest of the congregation, and will be decided by majority.


No person may acquire merchandise of unknown places of Poland,  when payable after the sale because merchandise was given  in "commission". A father will not receive it from his son, neither the son of his father's hands, neither a brother of his brother's hands, and of any relative, more if he is a stranger. This amendment relapses on the Kehilot, even in small towns, under the threat of losing the merchandises. The older of the three Kehilot, should fulfill this amendment and watch over that merchandise of this classification was not sent anywhere in the State of Lithuania, just as we said it previously.


The value of the permanent seat of a Jew in the synagogue (TN: as permanent sitting place in an Opera House), is considered as a good, especially when it is necessary to claim a debt. If the value of this place is registered in matrimonial records, the woman that doesn't have other resources can claim that good in payment, when she claims any payment.


Young aged orphans may claim notes, even its payment date is overdue.


Orphans are entitled to pay the widow (TN: it is understood that she is their mother) the amount registered in marriage register, even if she doesn't claim it. Starting from the moment of receiving payment, she doesn't have any more right of claiming food.


A note that has a guarantee, this guarantee is also worthy for heirs, so much for the lender of money, as for the receiver.


A note which's destiny are orphans, nobody can protest and  say: "I already returned the money to the orphans due to their pressure." The same is worth for notes of partners against their debtors. It should be claimed whole amount.


A widow should pay half of taxes of what would correspond to a man in same situation.  Of the "per person" tax ("capitatio") she should pay the amount entirely.



As principle, should not be given to a bridegroom, be rich or poor, a shirt, shawl, neither  a cap of linen, as it was usual. Are forbidden from now on, even if they were made and prepared previous to this amendment.


No person should dress velvet, neither a man nor a woman, rich or poor, be underwear or external. It even is referred to clothes made previously.


Is allowed skin decoration on a dressing shawl. If the woman possesses it of before, she can it only during the "three festivities" (Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Ha'shana) . Women that did not have it before, should not make a new one.


Dresses, gears, neckerchiefs or white clothes adorned with pearls might  not be used, but young maidens may use a pearl necklace.


Regarding a type of cloth called "damasked and atlas" (a type of coat ), those who have it of before, may use it during the three festivities and in the marriage of a relative. But for the future, this garments won't be made for men and women, poor and rich.


From today is not allowed to produce garments of the cloths called "damasked and atlas" except for those people whose goods ascend to more of 2000 guilden.


A person who marries a daughter, and needs to request help to his relatives, and  those who receives solidarity help, should not make for their daughter silk dresses.


In white clothes, for which women invest a lot of money in decorations with crowns" and " fringes " as  termination of the garment, these should not be more of two to six fingers wide, and those that have this clothes of before, should not use them.


All individuals that transgresses amendments up mentioned, will pay a very important fine.


Money collected of fines should be dedicated for solidarity. Treasurers of the Kehila should be in charge of it  and claim with strong hand this fines, as other issues that are for charity..


To Torah studious who are continually studying and are not in charge of business, are alleviated taxes payment..


Torah studious, maintained by their father or father-in-law,  won't be increased them amount of  taxes and they will be considered as other urban inhabitants


The three big Kehilot should adopt severe amendments in order not to disclose the decisions and secrets of the Kehila. The community issues won't be commented among the members of the Kehila.


Was designated the place where meetings of VML will always happen. They will be carried out in the Kehila of Pruzhany. There will meet the representatives of the people of ours State of Lithuania (VML) together with the illustrious men, the ABD of the three big tribunals. These meetings will be carried out two years after concluding its functions each Council. Their eyes will be open to all issues  related with the States, control the execution of amendments, and watch over those men of our generation that are over watching  and they destroy, as much as the hand of G-d helps them. Our illustrious sages are entitled, according to their understanding,  to increase or to diminish previous amendments, with the consent of all as if they were a single man, as we will detail next:

If two  of three big Kehilot, decide to summon a new Council before finishing the two year period, the third community should accept this decision. If two Kehilot would agree on forming a Council before concluding the two years period, the illustrious sages - the ABD -  would come to control previous amendments and the new ones, and the other Kehilot should also bring their Rabbies.  If the ABD of Brest Saint Community gives the right opinion that time demands, so that illustrious men - the ABD of the three big Kehilot - intervene in the Council in half of the two year period, the Kehilot should come to the meeting of the VML, as it usually happens.  If it came the case that no Kehila agrees, and the illustrious sages don't participate in the Council, are then null all decisions of ABD of Brest Saint Community.  The illustrious sages should attend and stay aside.


Always when is decided about finishing functions, community leaders should inform State inhabitants with 30 days of anticipation, so that all  ABD Chiefs inform surrounding  Kehilot that a Congress was summoned. But if it is an urgent decision to be agreed (that could not be communicated among them) they should send a clarifying letter before the 30 days.


A person who received a letter (a sentence) of his ABD against the Kehila, this one has 30 days to answer since the moment of letter's arrival at Kehila's hands.


Money collection to support city Jewish soldiers.  The money will be claimed this way: a third of expenditures will be calculated according to annual tax, another third will be calculated according to "per person" tax, and the third one according to the value of housings. These should be divided in two categories (they are exempted houses of poor). To define which is big a house and which is small, it is in the inspectors' hands that controlled this issue. Big houses will pay a third more than small ones. That is to say: if a big house pays three guilden, the small will pay two.


When paying tax for soldiers, the person doesn't pay property tax, but he will pay completely the  "per person" tax and half of yearly tax.


Of tax called " povrotny ", will pay a half the tenant, even if hi is richer that the owner of the property.


In case of those soldiers that are bandits and thieves (that don't belong to czar's military service), and occasionally occupy a place in a house, taxes will be half of annual tax, will also pay half of "per person" tax , and nothing for the house.


All leader that wants to present an issue to the Kehila, being it an issue related with a private person, or with a group, he should caution so far not commenting it privately with other Kehila leaders until the meeting with seven city community benefactors is carried out. It should not be talked with none of the parts related to the issue, until doesn't meet whole group to consider it. If  arrived to know that they transgressed and spoke with two or three people before Kehila's meeting, he will be severely be punished. If the case doesn't conclude and the parts  dissolved, will not be considered this issue between two or three people, but with the presence of the whole congregation.

In first opportunity, when it is proclaimed in the synagogue the excommunications on any issue, it will also be expelled the person that transgressed this amendment, and in the same way will relapse on the person informed about some transgressor, who should inform the Kehila to punish him and he didn't do it.


If somebody wants to grant participation to attend a rabbinical trial, being it a private one as to a group that transgressed a State amendment, such participations should not be given. The plaintiff will declare the cause for which calls the trial, and only after the issue was considered and clarified that it owes a trial and it should really be done, then he will be given the participation.


Considering that exist people accused of negative behavior, they should be expelled from the Kehila, .They inhabit their houses as if they didn't make any crime, and for their responsibility take place disorders in population. Therefore we decide, that an evil and vile individual should be expelled with all severity, because due to this man the Kehila will suffer a libel. The responsibility will relapse on city seven Community  benefactors,  and not only over the Kehila.

It will be proclaimed in the whole State the negative attitude of those individuals that deceive the law, mix themselves in fights with gentiles, and as a result, happen fights and acts of vengeance. Each congregation will protest strongly,  will notice those people that otherwise punishments will be  stronger: will be confiscated their money to pay expenses caused by disturbances, they will lose the right of inhabiting Jewish settlements, and will be expelled of the city. If they don't listen the warnings, be them punished without pity. If the Kehila neglected this issue, will fall the responsibility only on city seven benefactors.


In connection with previous amendment, no person of another country, is entitled of settling in  cities of Lithuania State.

Was also decided that are entitled to remove them the lease. Then was decided the following: the person that inhabits a foreign country during ten years, and doesn't pay annual tax to the Kehila, and neither leasing tax, in spite of having been born in Lithuanian States, and having been settled here during long years, is considered a stranger. The relationship toward him is as if he had arrived from a foreign State. Nobody might sell leasing rights to stranger, without the ABD's consent. If somebody transgressed and sold, the purchase act is null. If it is possible to return the money to the buyer, it is justice. Contrary case, he losses the leasing and the money.


In relation to previous amendment, a person may have only one lease in the place were he  inhabits, and where he doesn't inhabit he loses ownership of the lease. Then we decide the following: if he sold to another  (who inhabits in the Kehila) the lease right but executed it without knowledge of local ABD where the lease is, this act is null. The buyer or others can rent the lease to the first person who requests it. If it is possible to return the buyer his money, should be done. Contrary case, the person who acquires the lease will return (to illegal buyer) money invested.


In relation to previous amendment, when lease holding is transferred to heirs, it is valid if the heirs inhabit other States. The heirs (foreigners) are entitled of lease holding if they are in society with people that inhabit the place. But if heirs received the whole lease (and they live in a foreign country) they should sell holding rights to others.


An old note, three years lapsed from it's expiration, justice tribunal is entitled to impose its validity.


Were elected three outstanding people that can represent State issues in Government's Palace. Their eyes will be open to all issues and be willing to intervene in benefit of the congregation, as much as G-d helps them. These are the names of the outstanding people: HA'RAV YESHAYAHU of the Vilna Saint Community, HA'RAV BEIRACH of Brest Saint  Community and the official MORDECHAI B. LOMAZ.

Rabbi BEIRACH and MORDECHAI should be alert in their functions, and should be there from the first day when meets Government's Council, the "Seim". Rabbi YESHAYAHU will hurry and will arrive as soon as possible. Except these three middlemen up mentioned, will send a delegate to Government's Council and "Seim" an additional person of the three big communities in those that an ABD is in function. These should arrive with highest possible speed.


Amendments related to loans and gifts to treat well Rabbis,  should be similar to what is registered in Polish VAA.


Should be assigned a monthly community leader ("Parnas Chodech") in the three big State Kehilot , and every month they will travel and be in contact with main leaders of the Kehilot. Each one will be entitled same rights that those leaders designated in previous months.


Incomes for fines in benefit if the Kehilot, should not be included in general budget. It will be necessary to distribute them where it is necessary. But they won't be distributed without ABD knowledge and will.


All amendments, from first and until last, were given in hands to Kehila leaders of each State. They should be watchful and  inspect that  are fulfilled. They have the right to apply to transgressors, fines and punishments,  physical as in form of money. No leader or community director is entitled to reject or to be opposed to the execution of amendments.

They are not entitled to protest against amendments, under threatens of applying them a fine of 100 red guiden (guilden of gold has the value of 15 simple guilden), without any discount. All  other State matters are in leaders' hands and congregation should not in any case interfere, under the threat of applying them a 100 red guilden fine.


Amendments up mentioned, from the first and until the last,  should have influence and force in a three years course, and the congregation can not, even together with leaders, annul any amendment, either totally or partially, adding or diminishing a great or small issue, be even this agreed by the three Kehilot, about a certain issue. Their agreements won't be been worth until VML Council meets with the rabbis, and they give consent.  The will of G-d helped us to achieve success. These are the words of those that sign and are to service the State, Tuesday Av 13 1628, here Pruzana Saint Community. When arrive to end the three years mentioned period, and those High Leaders of the State of our Lithuania  together with Rabbis, don't meet to consider again or to modify mentioned amendments, these are effective with all force and power, as a stake planted in a sure place. Said by:











Was decided not to proclaim in the synagogue any excommunication for anything except: robberies, lost of objects of value, false testimonies, false monetary privileges , false informers, etc. and all this only with  knowledge of the ABD together with the congregation.  In cases of testimonies and money privileges, where doesn't exist danger  of loosing money, should be consulted the ABD.


Customs national authorities had much good will and mercy, and collected from Jews half of corresponding tariff, as it was mentioned  in previous Council. We registered it again in our books as a law , and each Jew will pay a tariff when transferring merchandise, and will declare correctly under oath by "hands shaking", and will allow it is controlled before payment to customs officer. If  merchandise already entered to customs, he will have only one alternative: the oath. If - G-d doesn't allow it - his oath was false, it is in hands of customs authorities to apply him a fine. A half will be given to Customs, and no Kehila authority will participate in this issue. The ABD will also apply a punishment, deserved by an individual that gave false oath.



Special tax to alcoholic drinks is patrimony of each Kehila or settlement, or of the lessees that  had it's possession in the past and will pay the same amount of previous year . The amount will be not increased except  it is increased in whole Jewish circuit, or if that year a town which contributed previous years had not been included , and the lessee will complete it with other resources. In that case he will be entitled to increase the amount of special tax.

The person that pays the tax in any district, should inform that he is willing to rent it with 30 days in anticipation to the Congregation or to the person who rents, he will be liberated from tax, and the lease may pass to another Jew or gentile.


Those that have leases and they want to be liberated of paying special tax with the excuse that they pay it directly to landowner or his official, and many of them register it in  contracts in order to obviate payment, in these cases we decide not to accept any excuse and they will pay them entirety.


In Kehilot where there is not a Rabbi that maintains a Yeshive for young males, they are not entitled to receive a rabbi or a judge to define issues about forbidden or allowed laws, and they will go to the ABD, so he points out the correct way, and by this is avoided that the ABD loses his means of maintenance. In all surrounding towns where a Rabbi assists issues related with forbidden or allowed laws, won't diminish the sustenance of the ABD. Said by:









About up mentioned in the Pinkas, in connection with the amendments of the Council made in the month of Elul 1623 (5383),  the words of sages are as darts and planted nails. The sages, the leaders of Lithuanian State foresaw the future, and demanded welfare for the whole State, and they decided that the right of holding all collections, old and new,  will remain in hands of R' MOISHE R' ELIEZER and his children, and only rabbi ELIEZER and his partners have this right and no any other, and in no way it should be harmed them, just as it was mentioned and illustrated before.

But now came evil people that destroyed State amendments, to remove of his hands collection of leases, and they offered it to a landowner who increased the price.  This caused a lot of damage and R' MOISHE, his children and partners were forced to integrate the landowner in the society, with the condition that he is not the only collector. We consider that those people are evil, their attitudes are mean, and they should load with their enormous sins. Therefore, they are condemned with strong punishments, and we should remove of their hands the prohibitions, and  return collection to previous owners.

We consider that we should give higher force and validity to previous decisions, and for this cause we decide that all payments correspond only to R' MOISHE, his children and his partners, starting from today and until the first of the month of Yiar 1632 (5392) of our era. They should rent the lease as it was registered in the Pinkas, and in order that payment of lease rights is safe, we, those  signatory below, leaders of the State, decide that we will cover with the entrance of the Treasury, all  expenditures that arise for the conflict in this issue. All leaders of the States should reject those evil people, so much according to Jewish laws as of gentile laws.

Chief R"MOSHE promised with courage to give to the three big communities in those that ABD are settled, starting from principle of the month (TN: he does not say which) 1629 (5389), up to the first of same month of 1732 (5492), year after year and directly to each Kehila, 2000 guilden, without counting surrounding towns. Also, he will give a loan to Brest Saint Community of 1200 guilden, to the Horodcha Saint Community 500 guilden, and to  Pinsk Saint Community 400 guilden. This year from Yiar 1628 (5388) until the month of Yiar of next year 1629 (5389), considering that payments are not  entirety still in their hands, he granted to three Kehilot only 1.050 guilden. According to this division, R"MOSIHE his children and partners, granted that amount according to their possibilities. This way, will be watched over holding right as calm waters, satisfied with all blessings for all they carry out. G-d helps them to be successful. Amen .Av 25 1628.  Sign: